December 15, 2012

Stay-At-Home Dads Rock Your Socks Off (Part 2)

This two part blog won’t mean as much if you don’t read them both, so get busy, and check out Part 1.

My brief background as a stay-at-home dad goes as follows. I was 23 years old, and just bought my first home. I was making 2-3 times more than any of my friends at an oilfield manufacturing facility, and then BAM-laid off six months after buying the house. After a month with z-e-r-o prospective jobs, my wife made the ultimate sacrifice. She told me she’d support me while I went to school to get my degree in graphic design; I just had to take care of our daughter and the house. Hesitantly, I agreed.

Nearly two years later, I’m almost done with my degree, I’m an honor student and on deans the deans list, and I’m a small business owner. One of my teachers who liked what he saw in me is actually the editor of this site, and he offered me a job as well. I take my daughter to and from school, gymnastics, tutoring, soccer, swim lessons, and now girl scouts all while cooking, cleaning (As I mentioned in my blog about gender), working from home, and maintaining my full class load and 3.8 GPA.

After looking at my accomplishments in this last year and a half, I’ve realized that I’ve got nothing to be ashamed of. I’m actually proud of all the growth and progression I’ve made, and now I confidently tell people that I’m a stay-at-home dad. If they think less of me, that’s on them; I know how hard it is, and I’m willing to bet they wouldn’t last a day in my shoes.

I’m not special though. There are many other dads like me.

With the numbers of stay-at-home dads steadily climbing, every news outlet from ABC to the Huffington Post has published articles in the last year about dads at home and the things that we encounter.

According to the most recent U.S. Census, some 2 million men function as the primary caregivers in their families, but what we lack in our wallets, we make up for in our sexiness.

The stereo typical man works, drinks a beer after work, watches football in his recliner, and scratches his butt while his wife cooks him a hardy meal and the kids run around screaming.

Of course, we’re capable of doing all those things, but when we add to them the domestic tasks like cooking, cleaning, and caring for the kids, it’s not only unorthodox-it’s sexy.

“Personally I prefer a scruffy, relaxed dad to a clean-shaven, stressed-out one. This is why the dads at the park are often so attractive! Plus, they are engaged and active with their kids, which warms our hearts — and other areas.”, says Heidi Raykeil, author of “Confessions of a Naughty Mommy.”

Calmer, patient, more verbally skilled men, tend to be more interested in children, and have a tone of voice that’s more compassionate and lends itself to parenting young children.

Biologically, we’re equipped with more estrogen. While some women prefer testosterone filled, apelike, men, “others are drawn to guys with a softer side, and studies have shown that the less testosterone a man has, the less likely he is to cheat, the more supportive he is and the better he is at providing for his family.” according to biological anthropologist Helen Fisher.

All of this research only leads to one conclusion; stay-at-home dads rock your socks off! If you feel the need to “aggressively pursue recognition by and acceptance from mainstream institutions” and “vigilantly watch for mass media representations and advertisements that positively acknowledge (our) collective identity”, then go for it.

I’ll just keep doing what I do best.

Image Credit: BlueOrange Studio / Shutterstock

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